Memorial pictures: Visual representation in the American Romance.
AuthorStryz, Jan A.
AdvisorDryden, Edgar A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe American Romance is characterized by its use of memorial images which contribute in developing the form and content of its individual literary works. Readings of works by four authors who fall within the American Romance tradition--Hawthorne, James, Faulkner, and Toni Morrison--reveal a poetics of memory that operates in terms of tensions between word and image, with memory achieving apparent embodiment through the image, while the simple presence thus generated is revealed to be both contaminated and opposed by cultural codes. Through portraits, photographs, and other less concrete representations of the human countenance, characters seek to take personal possession of both themselves and others and thereby gain a form of self-possession which places them in a certain relationship to the culture. In creating verbal constructions of images, the authors also pursue a goal mirroring that of their characters. Individual chapters specifically address the way in which the written work of art's identity is reflected in the characteristics of the visual art forms it represents; the power of the memorialized image of woman; and the imaginary strategies by which the cultural authority of one written text can be defused by the written Romance that appropriates it. Works discussed are: The House of the Seven Gables, The Wings of the Dove, The Sound and the Fury, and Song of Solomon and Beloved.